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Susan C. Yu

Susan C. Yu is a prominent trial lawyer who specializes in complex criminal and civil trials in Federal and State courts, as well as Medical Board trials in Administrative courts. She is one of the rare lawyers who practice both civil and criminal cases in state and federal courts. Ms. Yu is regarded as a highly effective trial lawyer who consistently obtains winning results for her clients. Over the years, Ms. Yu has developed a very diverse and successful trial practice unique to her trial skills, insights, and life experiences. Ms. Yu received her B.A. in Political Science with a concentration in Soviet Politics from the University of California at Berkeley and her J.D., cum laude, from Syracuse University College of Law, where she was a Dana Hinman Scholar. Her strong academic performance in law school also earned her a place on the College of Law’s Dean’s Honor List and a membership in the Justinian Honorary Law Society. She also served as Editor of the Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce. In addition to English, Ms. Yu speaks Korean, Russian and Japanese.

Deeply committed to excellence, Ms. Yu has consistently obtained winning results in high stakes cases for many of her prominent clients, including: the late music legend Michael Jackson; former First Lady of Gabon, Africa (who is the mother of the country’s current President, President Ali Bongo); a family member of the late film actor Peter Falk (known from a hit TV seriesColumbo”); a family member of a top-ranking government official from China; actor Robert Blake; the founder and former CEO of women’s knitwear, St. John Knits International, Inc.; an international corporation from South Korea; a family member of LA Gear; a top-ranking officer of a multi-national real estate development company from India; a publicly traded midstream company from Texas; a high-profile Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon; a prominent orthopedic surgeon from Southern California; a well-respected Radiologist; a highly accomplished Corporate Lawyer in Los Angeles; top Entertainment Lawyer; the country’s highest grossing Real Estate Agent; one of the country’s top real estate companies, Coldwell Banker Realty; and the world’s largest home improvement retailer, Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., just to name a few.

Ms. Yu has received recognition and awards for her contributions to various community-based organizations and has been listed as one of the “Top 75 Women Litigators in California” by the Los Angeles Daily Journal, the leading legal newspaper in California. Recently, Ms. Yu was interviewed by Litigation Counsel of America in a publication entitled “20 Questions with California Fellow Susan Yu.” This article discusses Ms. Yu’s background, upbringing, and life experiences that have influenced and shaped her as a trial lawyer.

Recent Victories

Susan Yu recently won 2 back-to-back jury trials, one criminal and one civil. The most recent trial was a federal mortgage fraud case in March 2015. Ms. Yu won a Not Guilty verdict for her client, a real estate agent, on 16 counts of mortgage fraud in the United States District Court, Central District. Ms. Yu won a Hung verdict (8-4 not guilty) on the one remaining count, which was dismissed with prejudice. The Indictment filed by the United States Attorneys’ Office charged her client, along with 7 other co-defendants, with wire fraud, bank fraud, and false statements to FDIC banks. 5 co-defendants pleaded guilty. Ms. Yu’s client pleaded not guilty and went to trial. Approximately 200 witnesses and over120,000 pages of documentary evidence were involved. The FBI investigated this case for nearly 5 years. During trial, Ms. Yu’s cross-examination of the lead FBI agent, who was caught lying on the stand about witness recordings, became the focal point of the front page news on the Los Angeles Daily Journal entitled “Recordings Expected in Modern Prosecutions.” The credibility of the FBI agent was destroyed, which many trial observers believed resulted in a Not Guilty verdict.

The second most recent trial was a civil sexual assault case in January 2015 at the Los Angeles County Superior Court. After a 5-week trial and 3 days of deliberation, the jury returned a verdict in favor of Ms. Yu’s client, an international businessman, as follows: sexual battery (12-0 unanimous verdict); battery (12-0 unanimous verdict); assault (12-0 unanimous verdict); false imprisonment (12-0 unanimous verdict); intentional infliction of emotional distress (12-0 unanimous verdict), and negligent infliction of emotional distress (9-3 verdict with 50% liability assigned to accuser). This was a very complex case involving extensive domestic sting operations, international undercover investigations, DNA, forensic, and toxicology evidence, mental examinations and related “psychological damages,” medical evaluations and various expert testimony on a wide-range of issues. Before trial, Ms. Yu demanded the accusers to drop the case under C.C.P. Section 998. Since they lost the trial, the accusers will be held liable to Ms. Yu’s client for all the costs he incurred. “California Fellow Susan Yu Successfully Defends International Businessman Against Sexual Assault Accusations

Pro Bono Work & Community Service

Ms. Yu previously funded and opened a Free Legal Clinic at St. James’ Episcopal Church in Los Angeles for low-income persons from all walks of life.

Committed to helping the underprivileged, Ms. Yu donates her time to the poor in criminal and civil cases Pro Bono.

Ms. Yu also served as legal counsel to the National Association for Asian American Studies, headquartered in Cornell University, Ithaca, New York. Comprised of professors, academic administrators, graduate and undergraduate students, and community leaders from North America, the Association seeks to advance the highest professional standard of excellence in teaching and research in the field of Asian American Studies.

For the past seven years, Ms. Yu has served as a Judge for the final rounds of the annual National Civil Trial Competition at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She has also served as a Judge for the semi-final round of the annual National Criminal Trial Competition at Southwestern Law School in Los Angeles.

Contributions to the Legal Profession

Ms. Yu was appointed as a Commissioner of the California State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE Commission), which investigates and evaluates applicants who seek to become judges at the trial and appellate court levels throughout the state of California. As a result, she stepped down from her 7 year service (2007 – 2014) on the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Judicial Appointments Committee, which, on behalf of the California Governor’s Office, investigates and evaluates lawyers and commissioners who have applied to become LA County Superior Court Judges.

Ms. Yu is on the Advisory Board, as well as on the Nomination Committee, of the Litigation Counsel of America, an invitation-only trial lawyer honorary society established to reflect the new face of the American bar. LCA Membership is limited to 3,500 Fellows, representing less than one-half of one percent of American lawyers. Ms. Yu was elected to serve as President of LCA in 2011.

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Yu is frequently asked to speak to various groups and organizations on trial strategies, the legal profession, and civil rights issues, including the need for a community dialogue on race, integration, equality and justice. A sample of Ms. Yu’s speaking engagements include:

Federal ABA Criminal Justice Section‘s 2012 Spring Conference/continuing legal education on E-Discovery in Government Investigations and Criminal Litigation. (Ms. Yu served as a panel speaker on post-indictment ESI discovery and the challenging issues of authentication, foundation and admissibility of electronic evidence at trial in federal criminal cases. This conference was held in Los Angeles, CA, in April 2012.)

Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Ohio‘s continuing legal education seminar on jury selection, trial strategies and opening statements. (Ms. Yu delivered a lecture to approximately 500 federal bar members, including federal public defenders, private defense lawyers, federal prosecutors and judges in Cleveland, Ohio, in August 2011.)

Litigation Counsel of America‘s continuing legal education seminar on winning approach to trial strategies, jury selection, opening statement and cross-examination in a complex, white-collar criminal case in federal court. (Ms. Yu delivered a lecture to approximately 150 highly accomplished trial lawyers in Laguna Beach, CA, in May 2011.)

Pepperdine Law School‘s event on the issue of women and the law. (Ms. Yu addressed law students and law professors as the event’s panel speaker in 2009.)

Los Angeles Leadership Academy‘s symposium on community and cultural issues. (Ms. Yu addressed middle school and high school students as the event’s key note speaker in 2007.)

Harvard University Law School‘s 12th Annual National Asian Pacific American Conference. (Ms. Yu addressed law students and community leaders as the event’s key note speaker in 2006.)

University of Denver‘s symposium on community issues. (Ms. Yu addressed college students and community leaders as the event’s key note speaker in 2006.)

Asian Pacific American Bar Association‘s annual Summer Associate Mixer in Los Angeles. (Ms. Yu addressed lawyers, summer associates, law interns and law students as the event’s key note speaker in 2005.)

National Korean American Coalition‘s annual convention in Colorado. (Ms. Yu addressed community leaders and students as the event’s key note speaker in 2005.)

Rotary Club of Los Angeles‘s symposium on community issues. (Ms. Yu addressed community leaders as the event’s key note speaker in 2005.)

California Polytechnic State University at Pomona‘s annual Professor for a Day program. (Since 2004, Ms. Yu has participated as a “professor for a day” in the Department of Sociology and has lectured to college students in the areas of community and urban sociology, criminal justice, and sociology of culture.)

Professional Affiliations & Activities

Ms. Yu currently serves as a Commissioner for the California State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE Commission), which investigates and evaluates applicants who seek to become judges at the trial and appellate court levels throughout the state of California. She is also a member of the American Inns of Court, the Federal Bar Association, the Los Angeles County Bar Association, the Asian Pacific American Women Lawyers Alliance, the Association of Business Trial Lawyers, and Litigation Counsel of America.